Throughout the pandemic I have been incredibly proud of the support we’ve given to our customers and communities, and today I’m delighted to be sharing news of how we’re continuing to play our part in the fight against COVID.
While I can’t confirm the exact store at this stage, one of our instore pharmacies in Birmingham has been selected by NHS England as a COVID vaccination centre, with our qualified pharmacy colleagues administering the vaccine to priority groups identified by the NHS. Our George department in the store will be transformed to make space for the vaccination centre which will operate 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and have the capacity to administer 250 jabs a day.
The vaccinations will begin week commencing Monday 25th January and people in priority groups living locally will receive their appointment from the NHS and have the option to select the store as a convenient location to receive their vaccination.
I am delighted that we’re the first supermarket to provide this service in store! A huge thank you to colleagues at the store for working so hard to get us ready for the centre to open, and my thanks especially to the George team who are temporarily moving to a different role in store and, in some cases, taking on a role to support directly with the clinic, which is fantastic.
We will continue to support the national effort against COVID wherever we can and have offered NHS England the full use of our 238 in-store pharmacies and qualified pharmacists to assist with the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine programme, which has just begun. We also stand ready to support authorities as needed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. As this vaccine is easier to transport and store, it could be administered from our pharmacies throughout the country.
With every vaccine that is administered the end of this pandemic comes closer, and we should all be proud that we are playing a role in getting us there.
I will keep you updated with our progress and in the meantime, thank you for all that you are doing to support our customers and each other through this time.